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Study links PTSD to brain injuries in soldiers

June 12, 2012

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Rochester, NY – Even subtle brain injuries might predispose soldiers to post-traumatic stress disorder, concludes a study from the University of Rochester Medical Center.

By 2008, an estimated 320,000 U.S. troops had suffered concussions in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a URMC press release. Researchers measured combat stress and brain images of 52 veterans from western New York who served between 2001 and 2008.

Thirty of the veterans had suffered at least one mild traumatic brain injury, and seven had more than one, the release stated. All had at least one PTSD symptom, with 15 meeting criteria for a formal diagnosis. Researchers found a correlation between the severity of PTSD and the amount of brain injury seen on a sensitive imaging scan, according to the release.

Five of the veterans also showed abnormalities on a standard MRI and had more severe PTSD.

The study was published in the May/June issue of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

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